MLA Table

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Finished Table

The finished table after powder coating.  I am using Columbia Coating's Teal High Gloss powder which is some of the best I have ever used.

Setup to turn the table

Here is the setup I used (as suggested by the MLA instructions) to turn the table.  Carefully marking the center of the casting I drilled and tapped a 5/16 hole and held the part against the faceplate with a piece of ready rod.  The blocks stood the part off enough to clear the mounting bosses on the underside of the table.  The part was reversed on the faceplate to trim the underside of the rim.

Table backside

The threaded hole is visible in this view.  This gets drilled out to 3/8" and this side of the hole is chamfered to 60°


Bosses machined

Here the bosses have been machined and the 60° chamfer has been added.  1/16 of the original hole has been left and can be seen at the bottom of the chamfer.


Table SUpports II

Construction of the two table support arms.  These will be tumbled and oiled for a finish.  They are made from 1/2 x 3/4 CRS, 4" long.  Drilled and countersunk for the 3/8-16 Allen head bolts.  In this view I have drilled and countersunk both arms and have to radius the remaining end.

Table Supports

Radiusing the ends of the arms.  Easier if done in pairs.  Bolt is to keep the two registered to each other when removed from the vice to flip end for end.




One can't accuse me of hurrying a project...    Shortly after I completed the die filer I designed some throat plates for the machine and had them water jet cut by Toolcraft in Phoenix.  Until now I had not worked up the nerve to start carving on the table.

Table and Inserts   Cutout

The original design had a 3/8" hole, which when using smaller files left a gap.  I have not done any tiny parts at this time, so it has not been a problem.  Left side we see the machined table and two plates, raw and ready to use.  The water jet nicely left me a pin hole for centering purposes.  I have not tapped the hold down holes for 8-32 machine screws at this point.  I have to say, I really dislike working with cast iron, but not as much as I despise steel alloys....

Blank test fit   Test fit

Raw blank used for initial test fit.  Finished insert in place. still need to tap the hold down screws and de-bur the pocket so the plates sit flush.


Plastic Throat Plate 

I decided to have a go with making the throat plated on my 3D printer.  Much easier to make odd sized holes than in steel.  As the role of the plate is to close the gap around the file, plastic is fine.  I thought about cutting them from Lexan in the laser, but the plastic is too thick.



 Saw Blade Adapter    Saw Adapter

I also made and adapter to hold Sabre saw blades in the die filer for precision light cuts.  Dedicated 3D printer throat plate shown as well.



Of course with all the throat plates I needed a way to keep them together and organized.  3D printer to the rescue....